As Facebook prepares to launch their first mobile advertising platform later this week at the first Facebook Marketing Conference; businesses would be forgiven for believing that advertising via social media marketing is set to reach another level within the next few months.
Unfortunately, recent research conducted as part of the Digital Advertising Attitudes Report, puts a dampener on this theory.
The research which was carried out amongst 2,054 UK adults suggests that whilst Facebook are launching their new advertising platform, 27% of adults using social media are prepared to stop social media if they feel they’re subjected to too much advertising; and 32% are less likely to respond to a company in the future if they are subjected to excessive advertising.
So where does this leave businesses looking to utilise social media marketing as a way to reach their audience?
Whilst the findings may look like grim reading at first glance for businesses, thankfully upon closure inspection they aren’t as bad as first feared; with 69% of those questioned are happy, in principal, to receive online marketing, although 66% don’t want to be targeted more than once a month.
But they do highlight the argument that businesses and brands using social media marketing need to strike the right balance between advertising online and providing useful, engaging and informative information which their target audience will respond to.
How you strike the right balance as a business using social media marketing, will depend heavily on your target audience, their age, location and the product(s) / service(s) you’re providing.
For example, 21% of 18 – 24 year olds who participated in the Digital Advertising Attitudes Report, admitted that they would be open to being targeted more than once a week via advertising on social media marketing.
The above data provides a promising platform for those businesses whose main target audience fall within this age category, but what about those firms such as accountants, solicitors and care homes who are looking to target a more mature age group?
Thankfully all is not lost, as the survey found twenty-six percent of British adults who currently use social media are likely to respond positively if the advertising they’re subjected to is tailored to their personal interests; twenty-two percent are likely to respond positively if it is location relevant; and twenty-one percent said they’d would be likely to respond positively if it is relevant to what they are doing.
Although the research carried out doesn’t make it clear whether the findings are in relation solely to banners and adverts within the headers of websites and the side columns, or whether it also includes status updates from businesses and brands.
With that said, it is better to air on the side of caution, and tailor every element of your social media marketing campaign carefully – to help make sure it isn’t too heavily focused on advertising your brand / services / product, but instead is carefully tailored to engage your target audience.
To help prevent your audience turning off from your social media marketing campaign, here at JE Consulting, we’ve compiled the following tips to help your social media marketing become balanced in both promoting your business / services / products whilst remaining engaging and informative for your audience.
Tailoring Your Social Media Marketing Updates:
As mentioned within previous JE Consulting blogs, when posting a new status, tweet, blog or forum comment, it is important to make sure that it isn’t all “Me, Me, Me”.
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t promote your business, etc within social media marketing – far from it.
What we do recommend is that for every update you post which is specifically about your business, its products and / or services, you provide another two updates which are industry specific whether its providing tips, advice and guidance for a certain area of your industry sector; or informing your audience of industry specific news (i.e. changes to tax return policies, if you’re an accountant).
Along with ensuring your updates aren’t all about “Me, Me, Me” it’s also important to ensure that each update via each platform is different, even if they information you’re sharing is the same.
This is because; those audience members who use Facebook may not necessarily use Twitter (and vice-versa). As such, those tools – such as hash-tags – which work and are relevant within Twitter aren’t relevant for Facebook, whilst Facebook allows for more information to be provided compared to Twitter.
Tailoring Your Advertising via LinkedIn / Facebook:
Before launching an advertising campaign upon LinkedIn or Facebook, there are a few steps which you have to go through, which thankfully help you tailor your advertising campaign to make it specific to your target audience.
These steps, on both platforms, include highlighting the geographic location you’d like to target, a specific job title / industry, gender and age; whilst on Facebook it is also possible to target your audience based on interests, education and languages – helping you to tailor each individual advert specifically to its target audience.
LinkedIn also enables each business to tailor their advertising campaign, by offering the option of variations of the advert. Whilst this may appear as extra work in the short term, long term it is highly recommended as it gives you the opportunity to test different advertising content for the same audience, helping you to build leads.
It also has the benefits of preventing your advertising campaign from becoming tedious after a short space of time.
Whilst the above tips will help you to tailor both your advertising and your updates to your audience, the biggest tip we can offer, here at JE Consulting, is that before you launch any element of your social media marketing campaign you produce a strategy which highlights who your audience is, what the message is and how you wish to target them.
You should also regularly monitor your social media marketing campaign to iron out any creases which could be hindering your business from performing via the medium.